We are all glad to welcome all participants of the international maritime shipping industry to the opening edition of the new Alert Bulletin released with our ultimate intention to raise the awareness of all people of the Human Element matters since they directly affect the commercial shipping. The present campaign presents a result of a three-year project run by the respected Nautical Institute under the sponsorship by Lloyds Register.

The development of the technology has actually revolutionized the way in which the vessels and the systems installed on them are designed, handled and maintained; however, there is still a serious demand for the human involvement at different stages of the process despite all automation commonly installed on the vessels. Nearly eighty percent of all accidents occurring at sea can be attributable to the human error, often referred to as operator error.

While the operator errors might be considered the immediate causes of the accidents, the root causes can be traced back to the people's influences on the design/operation of the vessels and systems. What it means is that the human element shall definitely be treated as a really critically important feature of all aspects of design/operation of the vessels and their systems. The aim of the authors of these bulletins is to capture the attention of the readers to the human element issues. This first issue of Alert is supplemented with the short video film.

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We are continuing the Human Element series with this second issue of the Alert! project, which is developed by the Nautical Institute and sponsored by the Lloyd Register, with the declared aim of it being the improvement of the awareness of the human element in the maritime industry as well as any other adjacent industry. In this release the team of authors intends to address such important matters, as the class societies' view on the issues related to the human element; Some thoughts from the sharp end - an article by the chief engineer working on the OSV and sharing his experience; Improving the application of the COLREGs (IMO Collision Prevention Regulations); Exploring Human Factors - Person - Job - Organization & Management; ISM Code and Port State Control matters; I am Afloat; Accident Investigation Reports; Various investigation reports and case studies.

Some thoughts have been shared by the expert on the container vessels, cargoes and the human element involved. Particular attention has been paid by the authors to the impact of the International Safety Management Code on marine practices and its general relevance. We have supplemented the publication with this short yet interesting and informative video film for better illustration of the articles.

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Our project is continuously developing and we are now ready to introduce the third issue of the popular International Maritime HE Bulletin. Among the most important topics addressed in this one there are human errors, shipboard maintenance, the case for a decent design, designing to fit the user, an ergonomic nightmare, improving ship operational design, ergonomics, training and competence, the human element in pilotage, prevention through people - an overview, some relevant accident investigation reports and case studies also included.

As it is now obvious than most of the accidents happening in the shipping industry result from the human error and relatively few of them are rooted to the technical failure of the equipment, it is becoming more and more important to pay the extreme attention to the human factor as the main cause of the incidents.

Such errors may be done at the design stage or during the new construction, as well as during the operation and/or maintenance of any of the vessel's systems or equipment. Again, we are trying to find the ways to get the number of incidents caused by human error reduced, this is the most important yet most difficult aim... Supplemented with this short video film.

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In many parts of the world recognition of competence is a necessary professional requirement for employment, career development and, unfortunately, liability insurance. As interest in the Human Element grows, not least in response to the awareness raised by Alert!, there will be a need for recognition of competence in the skills related to the science and practice related to addressing Human Element issues in the marine context. Traditional professional bodies, such as the Ergonomics Society and Psychological Societies, emphasize academic qualifications as necessary entry requirements.

For such bodies, technical experience that contributes to recognition is centered on the application of particular technical skills, rather than experience in a particular sector of industry. Sector experience, in this case experience in the marine sector, is not taken into account. In any new area of application of the sciences and techniques related to the Human Element the individuals with the responsibility and interest to address these issues will come from a range of backgrounds including, in the case of the marine industry, ship's officers, engineers, surveyors, designers, office staff, academics, etc.

A coherent professional body of knowledge may or may not emerge, depending on the depth of the requirement and the novelty of the treatment of the Human Element in the sector. What is required in terms of professional recognition is a scheme that recognizes a range of academic backgrounds and gives due regard to experience and achievement. Supplemented with this video film.

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The process of integration of the Human Element into a complex system a like putting together a puzzle. Some of the components involved are readily identifiable and easy to be linked together. There are, however, others that are not so obvious, and it takes a certain amount of'trial and error'to fit them into the right slots until, eventually, the whole picture is complete.

A ship comprises of a number of component parts (systems) each of which will have some effect on the overall performance of that ship. The extent to which a system will have such effect will depend on how critical it is to the safety of the ship and to its crew. Some systems may be fully automated, but they will still require a degree of intervention from the seafarer, whether it is to set the initial tolerances or to respond to alarms. Some may require direct seafarer input for their operation and for their maintenance.

Others will require humans to interact with other humans, and some may be driven by 'outside influences' such as the environment, other humans, or technology. Furthermore, the shipboard environment requires seafarers from a variety of cultural backgrounds to work, socialize and live harmoniously with one another. Use this short video as the supplement.

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In this tenth issue of the Maritime HE following interesting and relevant topics have been highlighted - Culture of compliance - The seafarers as stakeholders - Safe manning - Maritime safety regulations save people's lives - The human face of regulations - Intent versus implementation - An administration's view - Good working practices always give good results - What is new... Well, we all definitely require certain regulations to be there in order to be able to ensure secure and safe shipping, to set the common standards for the design of ships and their systems, as well as for operational procedure and training. It is in human nature to break the rules at times. And this can be even unintentional or because the person is simply not aware of the rule.

However, sometimes it can be done intentionally, for instance, it can be a result of the huge commercial or operational pressure. In all cases, it is important to understand and always bear in mind that we take a certain risk when we are breaking the rules - this, in turn, may and will lead to the hazardous incident, especially if done repeatedly. According to the statistic data, the majority of the accidents are resulting from the human errors and failings... This training video may be used for better understanding.

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The ninth issue of the International Maritime HE Bulletin sponsored by LR and published by the Nautical Institute. This issue is dedicated to the actual ship operations at sea and to the human element involved. Among the topics discussed there are stress experienced at sea, crew claims and P&I Club's perspectives, vital importance of the communication skills to safe operations, good working practices. It is clear and obvious that no ship in the world can run without a crew on board that ship, that is the reason why it is very important to consider people who are going to be operating the ship that you are designing and building.

There are so many different and complex systems installed on any vessel for various purposes - for sure, all of them are complying with the very strict standards and installed as per allowable tolerances. However, their reliability and efficiency may be undermined in case their set-up is incorrect or if they are not monitored and maintained properly, the way they should be, and these tasks are undertaken by the human element of any system, so we are talking about seafarers... As usual, there are also some news and incident reports, and a short supplementary video film.

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Another issue of the Human Element bulletin. Inside this one the reader will find info on the safety in the ship newbuilding and ship repair industry, in particular, addressing the human factor during the new construction process, and various human factors relating to the engineering deficiencies. The actual need for a more robust vessels has also been addressed; in addition to the above, the authors included some info about building platform management systems based on the UCD - user centered design - concept. Once they reach their new vessel, their expectations are of a ship that is 'fit for purpose' - that is, designed and constructed having the user and the operational task in mind and, of course, noting environmental conditions that it will encounter during its working life.

Few, if any, of the crew members are involved in the process of design and build, yet these are the people who are going to work and live within the ship. It is the crew - and not just the senior officers - who will first spot those irritating design errors, some of which may not be readily identified until sea trials; but which could so easily be rectified before commissioning, such as: critical lines of sight obscured by machinery or equipment pieces, various furniture; poor leads for ropes and wires; tripping hazards around the decks; doors that open onto narrow working alleyways; handrails installed too close to the bulkhead; poor access and removal routes for the machinery and equipment, etc... This short training video may be used as the useful supplementary material.

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